Canada’s digital efforts in the global context

Canada’s digital efforts in the global context

Canada aspires to be among the best of digital nations and to keep pace with our peers. Significant progress in digital transformation has been made, but not enough to keep up with the pace set by some of our peers on the global stage. Canada faces  unique challenges as a geographically large and diverse country with two official languages and multiple orders of government to navigate. Collaborating with our international partners allows the GC to continue to exchange ideas and solutions to challenges while moving toward the goal of fully transforming Canadians’ experience with government digital services. Representing Canada’s digital priorities abroad positions us to leverage the rapid digital transformation occurring around the world and play an increasing international leadership role.

Below is a summary of Canada’s ranking in the six categories (out of 29 OECD countries and 4 partner countries). Overall, Canada ranks 6th out of 33 countries.

Dimension Canada’s Ranking
Digital by Design 13
Data Driven Public Sector 7
Government as a Platform 4
Open by Default 21
User-Driven 6
Proactiveness 13

Canada’s involvement in the Digital Nations

Since 2018, Canada has been an active member of the Digital Nations, a forum aimed at sharing learnings and successes in using technology to improve service to citizens. Shortly after joining, Canada established the first Digital Nations Secretariat to help support the work of the group in meeting the principles outlined in the Digital Nations Charter.

Canada took on the role of Digital Nations Summit chair for 2020 and in November 2020, hosted the first entirely virtual Digital Nations Ministerial Summit under the theme “Resilient and Responsive Service.”

In 2020, Canada also launched a Digital Nations working group on greening government IT to examine existing and future ways that nations can green their government’s digital operations.

United Nations E-Government Survey 

In the 2020 survey, Canada placed 28th, following a trend of decline over the past 10 years and underscoring the urgency to accelerate our digital government transformation. This ranking is far behind Digital Nations peers like Denmark, the Republic of Korea and Estonia, which rank first, second and third, respectively.

Year Canada’s Ranking
2010 3
2012 11
2014 11
2016 14
2018 23
2020 28

Although Canada’s raw score has improved, our overall global ranking has declined. So, while Canada continues to make progress, we need to accelerate efforts to the same degree as more advanced digital nations that have surpassed us. Other countries have already laid the foundational elements that allow for an acceleration of their digital transformation (for example, digital identity, government as a platform, tell us once); Canada is on track to do the same. 

Open Government Partnership

Open government is about making government more accessible to everyone and ensuring that government coding, datasets and information are available to use, within proper privacy and security parameters. Since joining in 2012, Canada has been an active member, and co-chair, of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), an international and multi-lateral organization of 78 countries and hundreds of civil society members advancing transparency, accountability and citizen participation in government.  Canada has taken an international leadership role in this area in order to empower civil society, share ideas about accountability and transparency, and model anti‑corruption measures. The OGP is also an opportunity for us to learn from leading countries in the open government space.

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